DELRAY BEACH, Florida – As she described the upcoming changes and renovations to the Seagate Hotel & Spa, Jessica Gonzalez concluded: “To speak with one voice.’’
That’s an apt description for South Florida property here that includes the Seagate Country Club and Beach Club. Three venues – four including the 8,000 square-foot Spa – with one common goal: Elevating The Seagate Hotel & Spa to new levels of hospitality, recreation and service.
“Bringing everything to a whole new experience,’’ she said.
It’s a mission that began in earnest in May 2020 when Karl Bublitz was hired as General Manager of Clubs. This past January, Bublitz, a former director of golf operations at Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples, Fl., was named Executive Director of The Seagate, encompassing the Hotel & Spa, Beach Club and Country Club.
At the same time, Gonzalez and Koji Akaboshi joined The Seagate. Akaboshi was named General Manager of the 154-room Seagate Hotel & Spa. Akaboshi came from Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in Surfside, Fl., where he was hotel manager.
Gonzalez previously served as Corporate Communications Manager for Hilton Worldwide in the Caribbean and Latin American region.
Those additions came on top of last year’s hirings of PGA Professional Sonny Grosso as director of golf and Jason Rouk as director of agronomy, each at Seagate Country Club. Grosso had been head professional at The Club at Mirasol in nearby Palm Beach Gardens. Rouk came from La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach where he was golf course superintendent.
Since it opened in 2009, The Seagate Hotel & Spa has been a landmark luxury hotel on the east end of Delray Beach’s trendy Atlantic Ave. Each of these personnel and leadership changes set the stage for what’s coming in Seagate’s next chapter. Beginning in June 2022, The Seagate Hotel & Spa will undergo renovations to its public spaces, restaurants, guest rooms and Beach Club. For example, Atlantic Grille the hotel’s signature restaurant, will be rebranded and a lobby bar will be added; the guestrooms each will receive brighter colors; and the second floor of the Beach Club will become a members’ only restaurant.
In 2023, golf course architect Drew Rogers, a long-time associate of the late Arthur Hills, will renovated The Seagate Country Club. Located less than a 10-minute free shuttle ride from the hotel and spa, Seagate Country Club (7,100 yards, par 72) was built by Joe Lee in 1973. Seagate ownership acquired the private club – then known as the Hamlet – in 2012.
Grosso and Rogers have a connection, as the latter, in 2018, renovated the Sunset Course at The Club at Mirasol.
Rogers will be tasked with what basically is a complete overhaul of Seagate Country Club, including its practice facility and any routing changes. The course also will get new turfgrass on its tees, fairways and greens.
“Everything is up for grabs,’’ Grosso said the renovation project, which is set to be complete in December 2023.
What won’t change, however, is the look and feel of “Gentleman’’ Joe’s original layout.
“A lot of ‘Golden Age,’ features,’’ Rouk said. “Less is more.’’
Open to members and hotel guests, Seagate Country Club, which has an outstanding fitness center, currently is closed for its annual June maintenance. It will re-open later this month and close again briefly in August for another round of routine maintenance.
“I like the ‘bones’ of this course,’’ Grosso said. “It can be a challenging golf course from the back tees. We have small greens and small landing areas. But at the same time, we want to be friendly for the ladies and juniors, without taking away the challenge. We also want it to be fair. We want to make sure we have a course everyone can be happy with.
“We’re a unique place. We are a private club (approximately 340 members) with a hotel that has a resort feel. Our main focus always will be on our members. We want a team that sees that vision.’’
And speaks with one voice.